It’s dandelion season again. Truth be told, in some places and hearts, they never go out of season. And here this year, for some reason, they’re back with an attitude. Deep roots that say, “I’m here to stay.” Those big, ugly leaves that just invite themselves to your next salad. The bright yellow blooming heralds of spring. And of course, the seed head that remains the fascination of children of all ages and life stages.
Here’s a cure for all kinds of blues and blahs: The next time you see a dandelion in all its glory, pick it up and free those windborne seeds to sail into the breeze. So what if you’re holding a briefcase, wearing a business suit, and late for a really important meeting? Let it fly! I don’t care if you’re still snared by the pursuit of an immaculate lawn. Pull the roots if you must – but be a kid again for a few seconds in the process.
You see, dandelions are God’s version of a helium balloon or a birthday candle. I spoke at a funeral service a few years ago and the funeral home director suggested at the cemetery we have a balloon ceremony following the closing prayer. I tentatively agreed, and was glad I did. Everyone there received a blue or white balloon and was instructed to step outside the tent and release the balloons together. “This gets people looking up before they leave, and that’s important,” the director said. I haven’t seen a balloon ceremony since, but I certainly added it to my possibility list.
Imagine that instead of an environmentally-unfriendly latex balloon we gave everybody at the funeral a dandelion plant, and at the count of three we sent thousands of those airborne seeds to who-knows-where. Amidst the wonder of feeling like a kid again, we’d all be reminded of so many truths in the Bible about seedtime, harvest, legacies of faith living on and so much more. Plus it could save oodles of money – after all, dandelions are free. And yet they’re the gift that actually does keep on giving and giving and giving – especially if it’s from a heart of love.
Maybe you think I’m a little wacko over a weed. Heck, maybe I sound like I’ve been smokin’ some of that weed. But I assure you, I’m as sober as a bleeding cat at a wolf convention. All I’m trying to say is that when you and I lose our sense of magic and wonder, we lose our ability to keep our first love. The problem with those Ephesians in Revelation 2 was not that they had forgotten to serve God faithfully. They just had forgotten how to be kid-crazy in love with Jesus. And if it could happen to a congregation as stout as Ephesus, it could happen to you and me.
Hmmm. Maybe what the church at Ephesus needed was a fresh crop of dandelions. (Sigh…) nah, that’s probably pushing it a bit. But I’ll guarantee you there was somebody in that place that had gotten so busy with their version of pulling spiritual weeds, they lost their sense of supernatural wonder. How about you? Regardless of where you find your head or your heart, aren’t you ready for springtime? You may still feel trapped in the sadness of your discontent. But as my weed-friends remind me every year… you don’t have to remain in it.